Africa

Robert Ouko 'killed in Kenya State House'

  • 9 December 2010
  • From the section Africa
Robert Ouko (left), ex US President Jimmy Carter (c) and President Moi (right)
Robert Ouko (left) was more respected internationally than President Moi (right)

One of Kenya's most high-profile murders - of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko - was carried out in one of then President Daniel arap Moi's official residences, MPs have been told.

Three previous inquiries into the 1990 killing have ended prematurely and this one was presented to parliament five years after it was written.

It calls for further investigations into top officials, including one of Mr Moi's closest allies, Nicholas Biwott.

Mr Biwott has denied responsibility.

Several key witnesses have since died in mysterious circumstances and the report calls for their deaths to be investigated.

Mr Ouko was well respected internationally but fell out with Mr Biwott and other key officials.

Rush of reports

The authorities initially said he had gone missing, before saying his body had been found by an animal herder near his home shortly after he returned from a trip to the US.

But the report by the parliamentary select committee says Mr Ouko was bundled into a government car and driven to State House lodge in Nakuru, where he was killed.

It said his bodyguards had earlier been withdrawn and that the delay in announcing that the body had been found was to allow time for the body to be transported to Mr Ouko's home and then burnt.

"The perceived foreign support of Dr Ouko to ascend to the presidency to weed out corruption and human rights abuses was perceived by the leadership as a threat to the presidency and that this could be linked to his death," says the report, according to the East African Standard newspaper.

Mr Moi has not made commented on the report.

Some of those involved in previous investigations have complained of official interference in their work.

The BBC's David Ogot in Nairobi says several parliamentary reports into previous alleged injustices have been finally made public recently.

He says the reason for the sudden rush is not clear.

"The culture of impunity is slowly being assaulted," Gor Sunguh, who chaired the committee told the BBC.

He said he was confident that the report would be adopted by parliament, meaning the call for investigations would be acted upon.

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